Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Triad of Small Moments and Some Big Reminders


Life feels like it's moving too fast and impossibly slow right now. I've been thinking of you. So here are three moments that yielded three reminders for you. 
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We moved offices over the last two weeks. Also, Frontier Communications –a small telephone and internet provider – bought the western US part of Verizon. Verizon provides our phone and internet at work. Double transitions have made for a phone and internet mess. The kind of mess that results in two weeks of no internet at work and looks like me bringing my computer tower home to send payroll and emails. 
I’ve become a crazy ex-girlfriend kind of caller into the customer service department of Frontier. I’ve begged and cursed, pleaded and bargained. And what I’ve got back is a lot of kindness and some real harsh truth: the employees are suffering too. 
Because not only is the transition a mess for the wires and circuits and switches in the field, but it’s a mess in the training (or lack thereof) and hours and workforce in the office. Long hours, angry customers, and a lack of answers makes caring for customers a heaping load of hard. One woman told me she understood how I felt like a number without a name because she feels the same way every day with her new company. That is heartbreak. 
This is a public service reminder: We’re all fighting for our own sanity. 
You have the choice to make someone’s day a bit brighter or not –even the person who answers your call on the other end of that 1-800 dial. 
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A few weeks ago I was sitting with some wives at our husbands’ softball game. One of the woman was newly pregnant and feeling pretty miserable. She talked about all the ways she didn’t want to be pregnant. I smiled kindly, pretended to be understanding. But I wanted to tell her all the things I’d give up, all the work I’d do just to be in her nauseous shoes. 
I knew she was momentarily frustrated, tired, and full of raging hormones. I knew she didn’t want the baby to be wished away. But I also know I’m nursing a sad, confused heart full of child-rearing dreams. She hasn’t a clue and I’m not prepared to give her one. So, smile kindly, nod silently, let the moment pass. 
This is a public service reminder: We’re all walking in our own battlefield. 
Life is a battlefield rife with emotional landmines and exploding circumstantial grenades. Life is a battlefield that leaves us wondering if we’re going to make it through today or tomorrow. 
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My little brother plays basketball for his school. I’m an avid fan of over-excited cheering and team spirit so it’s part of my DNA to be at the games. 
Last week they suffered through a painful blow out. They were off, the other team was on, and the scoreboard reflected it. One player on the other team kept making three pointers and, after he sunk the shot, would run down the court with three fingers proudly pumping in the air. He was thrilled and he deserved it. But the loss plus his excited bragging made for a cocktail of ache in our team’s heart. 
This is a public service reminder: We’re all on the same team, whether we want to admit it or not. 
Sometimes we’re on the losing team and it’s ugly. Sometimes we’re winning and we want to brag all over the court. Regardless of our jersey or number, we’re all members of the human team. 
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As promised, three reminders from me to you. 

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